Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Practicality of a Teachable Moment: How Can I Clean These Records So I Can Play Them?

Rarely do I take a teachable moment and create a full blown production out of it. Usually it is a matter of time, since I rarely have enough. Today I made time to do the experiment and record it as a lesson.

Saul found a bunch of 45 records on a piece of property he is helping to clean up. He brought them to school to show me. He asked me, "Can we play these?"

Unfortunately, the answer was no. One reason was because we didn't have a record player at school; the second reason was because the 45's were incredibly dirty. I decided we could do an experiment to see how we could best clean them.

You can watch the video to see the start of the experiment.

If you watched the video you noticed that I quickly discussed the PH balance of the solutions I used. I felt that this was a good way to introduce the information, without having to do a full blown lesson on acids and bases. I don't have anything against lessons on acids and bases, it just isn't what we are concentrating on now. Remember this started as a teachable moment, not a planned lesson.

Hopefully, when the students do have a unit on acids and bases they will remember this lesson. I suppose they are much more likely to remember me trying to play the 45's in class. That reminds me... Do any of you have a record player I can borrow?


Here are some pictures I took after the records sat in the solutions for about 18 hours. The solution that is brown looking was the lemon juice. It looked like that when I poured it. I thought it was interesting that the labels held up as well as they did. Draino was the solution that basically dissolved the label . After I rinsed the records off in the sink, Saul wiped them with a soft paper towel to see how clean they were.

Watch this video to see and hear Saul's conclusion to the experiment.

We still need to borrow a record player to see if they will play.


MLHoffman said...

Do you know how to edit a streamed video?

Wm Chamberlain said...

If you use Ustream you can get your saved video into a usable format that can be downloaded. Then you could edit it with movimaker or imovie depending on your operating system.

I don't know how you would do stick cam or other streaming sites.

NZWaikato said...

Wow! Saul you must have loved being so involved in that process. Interesting to see the before and after videos as well. We'll have to see a listening sessions once you get a record player to bring them in!
Mr Webb, Room 8, Melville Intermediate, Hamilton, New Zealand.

Rm 10 mis said...

Thankyou for visiting rm10's blog.
We loved your record expermint we watched Saul do the expermint and we did a class vote on what soloution would work best and the results were... Alcohol-4, Vinegar-2, Draino-5 and Lemon jiuce-11.
So all up 2 out of 22 voted for Vinegar.
We hope you visit our blog again and leave more comments it is great to hear your opinions.
By Bonnie, Saro and Jade (Morrinsville Intermediate New Zealand)

Wm Chamberlain said...

@Rm10mis I think the draino cleaned the record the best, but it also took off most of the label. The problem with draino is that it is very dangerous to work with. Because of this, I wouldn't recommend using it.

Out of the rest, I would choose vinegar. It seemed to do a really good job, it isn't dangerous to use, and it is cheaper than the lemon juice. The main drawback is the smell!

Thanks for your comment and you can rely on me coming back to your blog.
Mr. C

Eric Langhorst said...

Loved watching the experiment. Can't wait to see if they work. I used to listen to 45's when I was a kid. My favorite - Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll". I almost wore that one out - of course I think we had a total of 5 so it wasn't that hard to do!

Eric Langhorst
Liberty, MO

NZWaikato said...

I'd like to mention as well that 'Kenny Loggins' that record may sound better too with the Draino!

Sue said...

Thanks for visiting our blog and leaving a comment. I hope that you have been enjoying your 4 day break.

Little Voices, Little Scholars. said...

Thank you to Mr C for leaving us comment on our blog.
We enjoy visiting your blog because there are so many different things happening.

Room 5 Pt England School New Zealand

Wm Chamberlain said...

@ Eric Langhorst My favorite was "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen.

@NZWaikato I agree completely! A hammer wouldn't hurt, either.